Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of CPI-M workers on Wednesday laid siege to the government Secretariat and district collectorates to protest the "failure" of the Centre to check price rise and ensure food security, affecting the functioning of offices.
The workers squatted on all the four gates and the roads leading to the Secretariat, making it difficult for the office staff to enter the compound. However, some of them managed to reach the office early with the help of the police.
Police said adequate protection was given to collectorates, especially in nine districts where Courts were also functioning in collectorate premises.
Inaugurating the blockade before the Secretariat, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the skyrocketing prices and corruption was the fallout of the liberalisation and globalisation policies vigorously pursued by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.
Referring to the coal block allocation scam, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was prima facie guilty in the matter, he said. While the UPA governmetn had been providing largesse to corporates, it was cutting down subsidies on food items and fertilisers citing financial crunch.
Vijayan came down heavily on the Centre for its move to allow FDI in banking sector and insurance, saying it was a clear case of surrendering to US imperialism.
He also criticised the UDF government in Kerala for failing to effectively intervene in the market and strengthen the public distribution system.
CPI-M leaders claimed that more than 15 lakh people took part in the agitation in 14 districts. The party workers also held demonstrations in various other centres.